We're using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you're agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to

Managing chronic pain in primary care

Issue 40 Synovium (Spring 2014)

Download this issue (opens in new window)(77 KB)

In Synovium 39 we reported on the new Canadian Guidelines for managing Fibromyalgia Syndrome which stated very clearly that fibromyalgia was a condition to be diagnosed and treated by primary care clinicians. At the time we had not seen a survey on the challenges of pain management in primary care published in the Journal of Pain Research.1 The authors asked 1309 primary care physicians in 13 European countries their views on aspects of chronic (non-malignant) pain management. The findings are disappointing.

Most clinicians (84%) reported finding chronic pain ‘one of the most challenging conditions to treat’ yet at the same time finding chronic pain a low priority within their healthcare systems. Use of pain assessment tools was low (48%). Chronic pain and its impact on the quality of people’s lives was felt to be under-assessed by 81%. Most clinicians (84%) felt poorly trained in managing chronic pain, 89% reported a need for more education on this topic. Which all makes implementing the Canadian Guidelines across Europe something of a longer-term aspiration.

Synovium archives

Browse previous issues of Synovium (all issues available as downloadable PDFs)

We're now

Versus Arthritis.

You're being taken through to our new website in order to finish your donation.

Thank you for your generosity.

For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.